See What HealthDay Can Do For You
Contact Us

Gluten-Free Diet Reduces Immunity in Skin Disease

Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis have less interleukin-8 on gluten-free diet

MONDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, an inflammatory skin disease, have normal levels of serum interleukin-8 (IL-8) if they follow a gluten-free diet, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Russell P. Hall, III, M.D., and colleagues from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., examined serum IL-8 in 10 patients with dermatitis herpetiformis, of whom six were on a gluten-free diet and four continued on a normal diet. IL-8 level was also examined in small bowel biopsies from two dermatitis herpetiformis patients on a gluten-free diet, five patients on a normal diet, and six subjects with no small bowel abnormalities.

After a mean follow-up of 2.2 years, the researchers found that serum IL-8 fell in one patient on a gluten-free diet and normalized in five of the patients, while there was no significant change in patients on a normal diet. IL-8 levels were elevated in biopsies from patients on a normal diet compared with normal subjects but there was no significant change in patients on a gluten-free diet. No significant IL-8 was detected in skin biopsies from patients, they note.

"These observations suggest that the IL-8 in the serum of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis originates from the small bowel as a mucosal immune response to gluten ingestion," Hall and colleagues conclude.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing